With the end of the year fast drawing in and the festive food in abundance, we’ve gotten a little bit nostalgic looking back over some of our favourite meals and restaurants of the year.
Fleur De Sel
64 Tras Street, #01-01, 6222 6861
“French Chef Alexandre Lozachmeur (previously with Alain Ducasse) takes pride in his own open-plan kitchen in a restored shophouse on ever-trendy Tras Street. The French-fusion fine-dining food grabbed our attention from the get-go and held it from the crumbed frogs legs all the way to the fleur de sel caramel chocolate dessert.”
#02-37 Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Rd, 6733 2114
“Master chef Hashida has been the private chef to many an international ambassador but here at Hashida Sushi (the original Tokyo spot still cheffed by Hashida’s father), he is your personal chef for the evening. Seafood is flown in from Tokyo’s Tsukiji market and Hokkaido six times a week and the sashimi quality is almost unparalleled, its presentation stunning. It’s pricey (omakase dinners can reach $500 per person) but guaranteed to be remembered.”
*Features in our Japanese restaurant round-up in our January issue!
Shelter in the Woods
22 Greenwood Avenue, 6466 6225
“When I went to review Shelter in the Woods, I was abstaining from alcohol for a month, so the thought of eating at a self-proclaimed tavern that serves up its own range of macerated rums wasn’t too appealing. However, the food here is the absolute star (although I’m told the wine and rums come a close second). I still have fond memories of the suckling pig and its accompanying silky, creamy mash. I’ve been meaning to get back there ever since, but every time I wander past it’s packed. A good sign for them but not for me!”
Fratini La Trattoria
10 Greenwood Avenue, 6468 2868
“The gregarious Gabriel Fratini is an asset to the restaurant for his character and kitchen skills. He picks out the freshest seasonal produce and serves up beautifully cooked Italian fare. His reputation in Singapore is strong. As a neighbour of mine recently advised after eating at the restaurant, ‘Get in there quickly as you won’t be able to get a table soon enough.’”
#01-02 Pan Pacific Hotel, 10 Claymore Road, 6737 3253
“Much as I love them, Italians are ten a penny; but this Sicilian is really something special. Pecorino and lamb are staple ingredients, suckling pig reflects a Spanish influence and sauces are Mediterranean in style, containing neither wine nor cream. Authentically delicious.”
#01-01 One Fullerton, 6438 0400
“You won’t find another seafood platter like this in Singapore – live oysters, clams, swordfish ceviche, New Zealand conch salad, Dungeness crab and a whole lobster. The cocktails are splendid, too.
Read the full review here
52-53 Duxton Road, 6222 1162
“This new concept in wining and dining combines a bar, restaurant, wine-makers cooperative and wine cellar. Merchants opened in October, and I like the relaxed atmosphere, the weekly wine tastings with Australian wine growers and the delicious charcuterie and cheese platter. Other reasons to go: there’s no GST or service charge, Ainslie is a wonderful host, and they sell the great Australian favourite, sparkling Shiraz.”
1 Figaro Street, 6445 5590
“Most people will remember Jacky from Picotin at Turf City, which closed down earlier in the year. Lucky for me she’s moved to Siglap, just metres from home, and opened Picotin Express which is pint-sized compared to her old digs, but just as friendly. The menu has the same great pizza, European classics and kid-friendly choices.
9 Jalan Kubor, 6291 9901
“What you get at Symmetry: a shabby-chic setting in Kampong Glam, emphasis on quality ingredients and a great balance of flavours in the French-and-Aussie-inspired food. Highlights include sharing mains such as beef short ribs (braised for 12 hours) and lamb on barley risotto. Great brunches, too.”
47 Neil Road, 6224 8251
“Da Laura’s Milan-born chef Michele Blasi has Michelin-star pedigree and it shows. Don’t miss his vegetables dishes (e.g., the soft, intensely sweet, slow-baked whole red onion) or desserts (e.g., mini cannoli). Owner Laura Forlino has created a quaint shophouse space with furniture from her childhood home.”
Read the full review here
100 Telok Ayer Street, 6636 8055
“Decent music shouldn’t be more important to me than the food, but it’s the main reason why I love this quiet, trendy place in the CBD. Fortunately, the grub is up there with the atmosphere, with a mix of original dishes served on small plates (bigger than tapas, smaller than a main meal). For someone who hates sharing but loves picking at different things, it doesn’t get much better. Since my review, I’ve returned with a few pals and they were super impressed.”
5 Boon Tat Street and 400 Balestier Road, 6223 3200
“While I love dressing up for a posh dinner as much as the next girl, the curry at this casual, friendly restaurant blew me away. It’s a simple menu, though not just your standard Indian dishes – most of the sides I’d never heard of before. I’ve been to the Balestier Road branch (which spills out onto the not-so-pretty street) dozens of times. If only they’d launch a delivery service!”